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In wake of Orlando shooting, the Tony Awards showed how important and life-affirming theater can be
Broadway sensation "Hamilton" raked in top honors at this year's Tony Awards, but much of the night was dedicated to how good theater can prevent and help society understand tragedies like the Orlando nightclub shooting. - photo by Chandra Johnson
This year's Tony Awards was slated to be something of a love fest for Broadway sensation "Hamilton," but instead it was a testament to love and acceptance in the wake of the shooting at an Orlando nightclub that killed 49 people and injured dozens more.

Theater is a place where every race, creed, sexuality and gender is equal, is embraced and is loved," presenter and late-night show host James Corden said in the show's opening. "Hate will never win. Together, we have to make sure of that. Tonights show stands as a symbol and celebration of that principle.

Media coverage of the Tonys praised the show for not being frivolous in the face of such tragedy.

"The consideration given to the massacre at the Pulse LGBT nightclub and its victims within the show itself revealed how life-enhancing and joy-inspiring theater and art can be," The Daily Beast's Tim Teeman reported. "These are not luxuries, but necessities."

"It was the kind of night where the "Hamilton" creator Lin-Manuel Miranda could accept a trophy with a sonnet in praise of love and have it not feel corny, but necessary," David Sims wrote for the Atlantic. "If there was a night for bold, open-hearted sincerity, it was this years Tonys."

That sonnet, which Miranda dedicated to both his wife and the victims in Orlando, turned out to be a highlight of the evening, garnering standalone coverage from the New York Times for its inclusive message as much as the fact that Miranda's "Hamilton" dominated the awards.

This show is proof that history remembers we lived through times when hate and fear seemed stronger, Miranda said. We rise and fall and light from dying embers, remembrances that hope and love last longer.